Supporting loved ones from afar this Thanksgiving

With COVID-19 looming over our heads, one thing that will look a bit different this year is Thanksgiving. The holiday, usually celebrated by families coming together to share a special meal, is going to be challenged by social distancing and mask mandates. So, how can you conserve the meaningful traditions surrounding Thanksgiving, but still regulate the spread of the pandemic as numbers in the U.S. are reaching an all-time high? 

Zoom and FaceTime are commonly used to connect with loved ones during this time. If your family usually says a prayer before you eat, reaching out to family members over Zoom or FaceTime is a great way to maintain the feeling of connectedness without transmitting COVID-19. For a lot of families, football is a big part of Thanksgiving day. When the Lions score a winning touchdown, FaceTime your uncle who you used to always watch Thanksgiving games with. 

Thanksgiving is a way for families to catch up on major events going on in each others’ lives. But with COVID-19, social media has become a great tool to remain connected to people who are close to us. Sharing pictures on social media allows our family members to still feel like they are a part of our lives while honoring COVID-19 guidelines. 

With all that in mind, never forget the sentiment behind a good, old-fashioned letter. Because of technology, when I receive letters, they are so much more special to me. Receiving a letter feels much more personal than a text or phone call, because you know the person chose sentiment over convenience and took time out of their day to share their appreciation for you. Before Thanksgiving, write a letter to a few family members expressing how much you will miss them this holiday season and what you look forward to most when you can finally reconnect in person. I promise you, they will cherish that letter forever. 

This holiday season will definitely feel different, but there are ways to ensure that we don’t lose touch with family and friends. While it is surely going to be difficult to keep our distance from those we love the most, it is incredibly important that we follow guidelines to guarantee the safety of our country. The quicker we take this pandemic seriously, the quicker we can reunite with our families and begin to feel normal again.